UCLUELET, May 8, 2012– To protect public safety, Parks Canada is temporarily closing the Wickaninnish Sand Dunes due to the possible presence of Unexploded Explosive Ordnances (UXO) dating back to the Second World War.
The public is invited to learn more about the closures and UXOs by attending one of two public information sessions to be held by Parks Canada and the Department of National Defence. The sessions are scheduled for Tuesday, May 15 at 7:30 pm at the Tofino Ecolodge, Tofino Botanical Gardens and Wednesday, May 16 at 7:30 pm at the Ucluelet Community Centre.
The sand dunes were used for training by the Canadian Forces during the 1940s and 1950s before the establishment of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. The discovery of a UXO in February 2012 prompted the Department of National Defence to examine the sand dunes further.
The Department of National Defence UXO and Legacy Sites Program has made preliminary recommendations to restrict access to the dune area as a precautionary measure until a more extensive examination can be made in the near future. Parks Canada Agency is working with the Department of National Defence to develop a strategy to address this potential hazard.
If a possible unexploded ordnance is found, visitors are advised:
o Do not touch it
o Remember or mark the location from a safe distance
o Leave the area
o Call 911 or local police as soon as possible.
The rest of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, including Wickaninnish Beach, remains open.